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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

18-month-old boy drowns in Nerul swamp

cities Updated: Sep 30, 2019 00:08 IST

A one-and-a-half-year-old boy drowned after falling into a swamp near Nerul gymkhana on Sunday morning.

The Nerul police, however, said Aryan Ansari — who resided with his parents, Arif Sheikh, 45, and Mumtaz Sheikh, 39, in a shanty — fell into a pit of rainwater. They said he may have fallen into the pit, located close to their house, while playing. At the time of the incident, Arif, a balloon-seller, and Mumtaz, a house help, were at work.

“An accidental death case has been registered. We were informed by the people living nearby. Some kids spotted the boy. He was rushed to Terna Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival,” said Rajendra Chavan, senior inspector, Nerul police station. “The large pit, which was full of rainwater, was near the hutments. The child might have gone there while playing and fallen down.”

The Sheikhs’ home is among the five to 10 illegal shanties located near Nerul gymkhana and is surrounded by trees and overgrown shrubs, said an officer.

Amrish Patnigere, head encroachment, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), said the land belongs to the City And Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). “Cidco needs to protect its land by barricading it properly. If they protect their land, slums would not come up and these incidents can be avoided,” said Patnigere.

Priya Ratambe, public relations officer, Cidco said they will look into the issue. “There has been a plan to barricade the land,” said Ratambe.

In a similar incident in 2018, three kids in Panvel, fell into a trench dug up to build a subway and extend a railway platform, and died. The trench had not been barricaded.

First Published: Sep 30, 2019 00:08 IST

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